Pictures speak a thousand words
Creating the right impression if you are a small business or self employed, is really important. I speak with a lot of business owners and one of the hardest tasks I find is explaining to them the importance of professional quality images for their websites, social media presence and printed media.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Ian Dixon says
Interesting article Alan Stainer yet read on.
The article makes me go urgh because of the graphic it uses. Had it not been for the fact that I know who you are then I may well have just done as you mention and hit the back button to go elsewhere.
I’ve felt that way when opening other articles that you write for that newspaper too. It might just be me but I think they need a very serious redesign.
Back to images
I agree with you that getting images created by a professional is the best approach for setting a business impression.
However, most small businesses lack the finances to do that. Therefore, they must create their own.
The tricky part here is that what is needed for the Web and what is needed for print are different.
My pictures for Experimental Chefs are taken with terrible lighting. I then crop to lose parts, sharpen to enhance, edit to watermark then scale to a 600px width. Final step is to save a jpg with the quality taken down to the 50 level. That gives a final image that works well on the web because that is matching what screens will display. Oh, I save the base image at full resolution for possible print use as that often requires a higher resolution.
So I would suggest that most small businesses are in a position where they need to create their own images and cannot bring a professional to do it for them. There are ways to make those images better though and I have picked up some useful tips on doing just that here on G+
Alan Stainer says
Ian Dixon the photos that go in the paper are different to the one that is used online. You’ll have to trust me when I say they are better than my big mug. Unfortunately I haven’t got control over what image gets used online.
Ian Dixon says
I was taking a swipe at the newspaper with that one Alan Stainer because I do realise you have no control over the final presentation.
Now I assume they have columns from other people done in the exact same way. All with an overly large picture at the top.
It puts me off and would be very likely to lead to me leaving a page rather than reading further. I survive it with things from you because I know who you are from here on G+. Might well just ignore anybody else though.
Still, even the big groups get it wrong a lot of the time. The email update I get from one is a total disaster for the number of times that they manage links that fail to work. Think female anatomy parts if you want to guess the company that I mean
Alan Stainer says
Ian Dixon going back to your previous comment, I think some small businesses definitely struggle when it comes to creating images and copy themselves. Simply, if your expertise is in a field completely unrelated to computers, photography, art or even writing, then you will find it hard. For example, plumbers, mechanics and carpenters.
Now, I am not saying the above holds true for all plumbers, mechanics and carpenters, but it is certainly a consideration.
The opposite to that is of course true as well. While I may be able to turn my hand at the arty things, I am completely bewildered by plumbing, mechanics and carpentry. If I find myself needing those skills, it is definitely cost effective to get an expert in!